Sajid had his first asthma attack when he was only 6 years old. It's a scary experience for any young child, and one that, unfortunately, he grew to know all too well over the next year.
"We were going to the emergency room every three months because we just couldn't keep his asthma under control," his mother, Hawa, says.
To make matters worse, Sajid's medical issues were also causing serious challenges at work for Hawa because she had to take time off to care for her son. As a single mom, she had no other choice, but it began to take a toll on the entire family.
Then, a colleague told Hawa about a pulmonologist at Children's Health℠ who had helped manage her child's asthma. Hawa called for an appointment right away.
Expert care for Sajid's asthma diagnosis
Soon, Sajid met Suja J. Nair, M.D., a pediatric pulmonologist at Children's Health and Associate Professor at UT Southwestern. Dr. Nair reviewed Sajid's history, discussed the diagnosis of asthma in greater detail and adjusted his treatment plan. Sajid started to feel better almost immediately.
"It is quite gratifying to help Sajid and other children like him control their asthma," says Dr. Nair. "He now has less school absences, can play outside with his siblings and his mother feels more comfortable returning to work. Along with my team, it is a joy to help kids be kids."
Sajid was enrolled in the Asthma Management Program, a nationally certified program aimed at helping children better manage their condition and improve their overall health.
Through home visits with a respiratory therapist and biweekly phone calls with a registered nurse, the asthma management team worked with Hawa over the next six months to identify ways to make their home more asthma-friendly. They also identified potential triggers or warning signs that Sajid's asthma may be flaring up.
"The Asthma Management Program provided us with the resources and advice we really needed to better manage Sajid's asthma," says Hawa. "For instance, if Sajid was sneezing or coughing a lot, the nurse could tell that we might need to adjust his medications to respond accordingly. Before the program, I wouldn't have realized it was a symptom of his asthma, but now we know how to respond proactively."
Asthma management brings peace of mind
Sajid graduated from the program, and Dr. Nair continues to monitor him closely through regular visits every three months. Though he and his family are still cautious about potential triggers – playing outside for extended periods of time or strenuous activity, to name a few – he is feeling better and has had very few asthma flare ups over the past year. For Hawa, that also means greater peace of mind and job stability.
"I am now able to go to work and not be worried about whether Sajid's school will call me to leave because of an asthma attack," she says. "It took a lot of effort, but I am grateful for the support we have received so we can now manage his asthma at home."
Children's Health offers care for the entire spectrum of asthma, from low risk to high risk services. Our nationally certified Asthma Management Program helps children with an asthma diagnosis better manage their condition to reduce asthma-related ER visits, missed school days and missed work days. Learn more about our asthma services.
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